Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Preparations For Burn2

By Gemma Cleanslate

Time is passing quickly as burners get ready for the 2013 Burn2. I visited Deep Hole, the home sim of Burning Man in second life. The sales kiosks are set up for those buying  plots for the event. If you don’t Have yours yet better get over there. Building begins on September 17th so hurry! 
There are several sized plots available but going fast. There are volunteer kiosks there too.  Gerlach, the entrance town, is clean and ready with all the buildings in place. I found an area where the Department of Mutant Vehicles has set up a building location so people can try their hands at creating vehicles for the roadways. There are materials available to help you get started if you want to add to the fleet. There is another area where you can try your hand at building and people on call to help. I watched someone working on sitting scripting. Meeting circles are set for those who have volunteered to help with tasks. 
I know the temple team builders are already at work in a hidden place, at least planning, and I am sure The builders of the Man are hard at work too. There have already been a few classes to give assistance to new builders and will be more coming. The Rangers will have training classes all this next week. I know the Art Department has chosen the Juried camps SL artists and they were published the other day in the SL Newser.   If you are not familiar with the Burn2 in second life I refer you to the website for all the history and background you need: There is also a form for volunteering in one service or another . 
There are many opportunities for putting your talents to work to make the Burn a big success and it is explained on the site: Take a look. Being a Ranger is work but fun also. Training begins very soon so sign up if you like moderating.  Lamplighters have marches to the man every night lighting the lamp on the roadways. Greeters are the first people you meet as you enter the burn1 and can direct you to freebies and parties and builds that you are looking for. Translators are so helpful because the Burn2 in SL is an international event.  The skilled scripters and builders work with the DPW or theDMV to make your sims available with roads, water, and what the builders need. Use your particular talent to make the Burn2 a great experience for all by volunteering. Look at the descriptions on the page above to see how you might fit into the burn2 family. More to come. 
Gemma Cleanslate

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Reflections of 9/11 in Second Life

By Gemma Cleanslate

I wrote in the guest book at Aero Pines Memorial  Climb, “Gemma remembers the second plane hit in shock. “ September 11 is indelibly in the minds of those who remember that day and lived through it on new media . Every year there are lovely memorials in sl to shadow those held in rl at the original site in New York City , at the Pentagon and at other places . The USA is recalling that disastrous day when three planes carrying terrorists tried to attack our land. So many died leaving families and friends mourning nd a nation aghast and mourning with them.
“In 2007, the New York City medical examiner's office began to add people to the official death toll who died of illnesses caused by exposure to dust from the site. The first such victim was a woman who had died in February 2002 from a lung condition.In 2009, a man who died in 2008 was added, and in 2011 a man who died in 2010.” Many first responders still suffer illness that are debilitating. As you can see from the countries affected, this is really an international event although it was on our soil. It is nice to see people from around the world visiting these memorials and participating. 
Aero Pines Park rangers and firefighters  sponsor a 9/11 tribute to fallen firefighters every year and gives you free gear to wear on the climb.There is a kiosk with information of how to donate to firefighters organizations . The buildings  will be there until the 12th if you would like to visit it.  Equus (45, 229, 23). I spent some time watching the video of the firefighters in the buildings talking into radios , climbing stairs, looking for people to help. I chatted with an avatar in a naval uniform .pepinnery told me that two days after that infamous day she enlisted in the Navy for 2 years. 
I stopped over at Stagg Island also. I was trying to find out about events there because I recalled last years wonderful tribute but learned that the owner of the memorial was not available this year in order to plan events. Here you see the names of all the victims on the walls, the twin towers, airplane victims, and the Pentagon. This is a permanent memorial that you can visit anytime. There are viewers on the walls  where you can look at images captured from that time: just click them. Try the night view to see the beauty of the whole memorial. Remember to get the souvenir bell. The setting is lovely , high above waterfalls the marble glistens.  STAGG ISLAND (13,153, 37). 
I am glad I was able to start my day doing this as a reflection  of September 11, 2001. 
Gemma Cleanslate

Monday, September 9, 2013

Steelhead's "Sharknado" Party

By Bixyl Shuftan

The Steelhead community in Second Life is the source of many weird happenings. While many are caused by the mad scientists among it's residents, others are not as the place itself seems to attract oddness. On Friday Sept 6 came another strange event when a number of waterspouts, to those who don't know a tornado in open water, appeared at Steelhead Shanghai. What made it truly odd was that there were electric sparks coming from some of the waterspouts, in addition to sharks seen flying around in them. The locals promptly christened the event a "Sharknado."

So what did the Steelheaders do? This group of wacky humans, elves, weres, furs, and other folk did what they so often do in the face of weirdness: throw a party. And faster than one can say "da-dum, da-dum," people began arriving at the harbor's docks.

DJ Fuzzball Ortega, normally the town's sherif, was the DJ for the party. The pointy-eared were had managed to squeeze himself in a scuba outfit, with his charming partner Eugene in a bikini. They had on just two of the many costumes at the event, which including old-time diving outfits, shark costumes, shark hats, and more swimsuits, "I love Ma's get up, hehehe!" And of course the pet sharks from the 7Seas fishing game.

Besides the sharks flying around in the air, a couple "landwalker" sharks joined the party, "Watch out for the land shark!" But these "landsharks" weren't there to chow down on the Steelheaders, or look for bargain real estate. They were there to enjoy the music and dance along with everyone else. And with the sharkgirl fitting her bikini just nicely, no one seemed to mind.

At one point, chainsaws were passed around, "helpful if it starts raining sharks." "I knew investing in power tools would be useful someday." By accident, one was passed to one of the landwalkers by accident, "Thanks! This'll make chopping up the tuna a *lot* easier. … When you have a shark's body designed for a big brain and opposeable thumbs, well, your jaws aren't gonna be as strong."

At another point, Lelani took a gun of some kind to the flying fish, "Don't be alarmed, people, just taking a practice shot at some silly old sharks." She got a few curious looks, "alarmed of guns in Steelhead?" One of the landwalkers remarked, "Just don't shoot me. I came for tuna, not 'long pig.' " Someone else mentioned the possibility of a Telsa gun seen on "Facebook" as a weapon against the sharks. Another just remarked, "Hey, you wth the gun! Less QQ, more pew-pew." A third cautioned, "You shoot enough sharks and it will be phew-phew!"

Some of the women's swimsuits were more revealing than usual for Steelhead, "Okay Lumi, that's oddly hot, and not at all 'G' rated." The neko girl just giggled, "hee-hee-hee, thats me, accidentally perverted." Someone else remarked, "Who needs stinkin' G ratings on 'Sharknado!' night?"

Fuzzball's tip jar got a number of donations, "Thank you … Now I can bribe SyFy NOT to make a sequel." One of the landwalker sharks suggested, "maybe we in Second Life can make a better shark movie." Steelhead co-owner TotalLunar Eclipse suggested, "We should recreate some of the movies on MST3K." There were a few jokes about bringing back Saturday Night Live's "Landshark," "knock-knock. Candygram!" And there were other ideas for B-rated flicks, "Shark Bait II - Fishing Chums."

With all the sharks flying around, someone wondered about "shark poop" falling from the sky. One landwalker commented, "Don't look at me, I used the outhouse before coming here." There were a few jokes about a "sh**storm," and "where's the fan?" And of course, "jumping the shark."

Eventually, the party came to a close. Unfortunetly for Steelhead Shanghai, this event for the location would be it's last. While no Steelheaders were killed or seriously injured, the structures suffered serious damage. With Steelhead's city funds running low, it was decided to level the ruined buildings and close the sim. And so Steelhead's Chinatown area was no more. While only a few residents had to move, the community was sad to see the place go. Willow Leafstorm wrote a poem in tribute:

'Tis a day that is sad for all good things must come to an end.
We say farewell to a land that was a home and to some and a friend.
Tonight we dance and and make merry for old Shanghai,
Auf wiedersehen. Au revoir, sayonara , ciao, zài jiàn and goodbye

 A few pictures of Steelhead Shanghai can be found in Eladrienne Laval's blog.

Steelhead doesn't usually mourn for long, so chances are instead of the event being known as the end of Steelhead Shanghai, it'll be known fondly as the "Sharknado."

"Thank you all for sharing your sharks."

Bixyl Shuftan